While Jeremiah was still confined1 in the courtyard2 of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time:32
"This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth,4 the LORD who formed it and established it--the LORD is his name:53
'Call6 to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable7 things you do not know.'
For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege8 ramps9 and the sword
in the fight with the Babyloniansa: 'They will be filled with the dead bodies of the men I will slay in my anger and wrath.10 I will hide my face11 from this city because of all its wickedness.
" 'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal12 my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace13 and security.
I will bring Judah14 and Israel back from captivityb15 and will rebuild16 them as they were before.178
I will cleanse18 them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive19 all their sins of rebellion against me.
Then this city will bring me renown,20 joy, praise21 and honor22 before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble23 at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'
"This is what the LORD says: 'You say about this place, "It is a desolate waste, without men or animals."24 Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted,25 inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more
the sounds of joy and gladness,26 the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings27 to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good;28 his love endures forever."29 For I will restore the fortunes30 of the land as they were before,31' says the LORD.
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'In this place, desolate32 and without men or animals33--in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks.3413
In the towns of the hill35 country, of the western foothills and of the Negev,36 in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand37 of the one who counts them,' says the LORD.